NFL: Gophers’ Vereen drafted by Bears in 4th round
By Chris Tomasson
St. Paul Pioneer Press
Brock Vereen has the date circled on his calendar. On Oct. 26, he will face his brother for the first time in a competitive football game.
Vereen, a defensive back from the University of Minnesota, was selected Saturday by Chicago with the No. 131 pick in the fourth round of the NFL draft. In their eighth game, the Bears will play at New England, which features Vereen’s brother, running back Shane Vereen.
“I’m definitely counting down (to then),” Brock Vereen said.
The defensive back’s agent, Ryan Williams, was at a draft party with Vereen’s family in Valencia, Calif. Williams said Vereen was “elated” about being drafted and that there was plenty of banter between the brothers about going against each other for the first time.
“Shane was completely excited and proud of Brock being drafted,” Williams said. “They definitely shared a long embrace. I think Shane will be proud of him until Week 8 of the season when they face off. But then come Week 9, he’ll go back to being a fan of his.”
Vereen has another game he’s circling on the schedule. The Bears close the season Dec. 28 at Minnesota, which is playing the next two seasons at TCF Bank Stadium, where Vereen starred for the Gophers.
For now, he is thrilled to be joining the Bears.
“Being a part of this organization is just a dream come true,” he said. “My mom (Venita) grew up in Illinois (Decatur). All her family are Bears fans. She still has (family) in the Chicago area.”
Vereen played cornerback and safety with the Gophers. He’s not sure yet where the Bears want to play him.
“They haven’t specified which spot, but I’m more than happy to do whatever it takes to be on the field,” he said. “Whichever one the Bears think I need to play to help them out the most, I’ll be more than happy to be there.”
Vereen was the second of two Gophers taken in the draft. The Atlanta Falcons selected defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman in the second round Friday with the No. 37 pick.
“I am thrilled for Brock as he begins his NFL journey in Chicago,” said Gophers coach Jerry Kill. “Brock is one of the smartest and most versatile players I have ever had the privilege of coaching and is an outstanding young man. He is the ultimate team player and will do whatever is needed to help the Bears win.”
Shane Vereen played at California. Last season, his fourth with the Patriots, he rushed for 208 yards while starting one game.
“Having an older brother who was always at the level above me (helped),” Brock Vereen said. “In high school, he was in college. In college, he was already in the NFL. I felt I was always able to get a step ahead coming in. Nothing ever felt new. I think I’ll be able to use that as an advantage in this case.”
He can show his older brother how much he’s learned when he runs into him in October.
The Pioneer Press is a media partner with Forum News Service.